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Fixture News

Close: Time To Impress

Midfielder on the importance of pre-season

9 July 2018

Ben Close in action for Pompey
Photo: Colin Farmery

With the sun beating down on Westleigh Park, conditions were not ideal for a game of football.

But Ben Close knows that Pompey’s players have to make the most of their pre-season opportunities.

Goals from Nathan Thompson and Conor Chaplin secured a 2-1 victory over National League outfit Havant & Waterlooville.

And Close believes there are multiple benefits to the raft of friendly fixtures that are a feature of July.

The midfielder said: “It was really hot and it’s just the second game of pre-season, so it was a good workout for all the lads.

“We’re trying to get some match fitness to make sure that we’re prepared for what will be a long campaign ahead.

"It’s about getting used to the new players in the squad and also looking to build on those relationships from last season."

Ben Close

“But everyone also wants to impress the manager to make sure that they’re in the team for the first game of the season.

“It’s about getting used to the new players in the squad and also looking to build on those relationships from last season.

“With the signings, they all bring something different and we’ve got a mix of experience and youth there.”

Pompey fell behind to Alfie Pavey’s penalty against the Hawks before eventually securing a second successive friendly victory.

Close said: “They stretched us well and their long balls were pretty effective during the first half. It was a tough test.

“Conor scored the winner with a decent finish and he had another good chance as well, but that’s what he does.”


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